Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Integrated Systems sector has been awarded a $34.2 M contract by the US Air Force for the first phase of the B-2 radar Pathfinder program, a multi-year effort to design and integrate a new radar antenna on the B-2 stealth bomber.

The total program value for Northrop Grumman, prime contractor for the B-2 program, is estimated at more than $900 M. Installation of the radar antenna on the B-2 fleet is scheduled to be completed by the end of this decade.

The modification consists of an active electronically scanned array antenna that will resolve a Ku-band spectrum compliance issue with the radar operating frequency.

This technology allows for a substantial performance improvement in range and resolution for the future. Work during the first phase, which ends in June 2003, will consist of system engineering leading to the establishment of performance requirements. Northrop Grumman's work will be performed at its Integrated Systems facility in Palmdale, CA. The Raytheon Co., El Segundo, CA, which provided the original B-2 radar, is the principal subcontractor to Northrop Grumman on the radar program. Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems performs depot airframe maintenance on the B-2 and is developing a series of upgrades to improve its maintainability, lethality and connectivity.